Hot Cars Act aims to prevent every parent’s worst nightmare

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone was in Edison Thursday to shine a spotlight on the Hot Cars Act, which would require all car companies to install technology to alert drivers of passengers in the back seat. The bill would ideally prevent every parent’s worst nightmare — leaving their child behind in a hot car.

This year alone, 36 children have died from such incidents, with two of those deaths taking place in New Jersey. But speakers at the press conference took to the podium to suggest that technology exists to make those deaths more preventable.

Present at the event were representatives from Hyundai and IEE, who demonstrated the radar and sensor technologies each respective company has developed to prevent heatstroke deaths.

“Not only does it give you a notification on the dashboard reminding you to check the rear seats — if you walk away and lock the vehicle and you’ve left say a child or a pet, the vehicle will detect movement, set off the alarm and send a notification to your phone,” said Donny Nordlicht of Hyundai Communications.

Pallone says its time for Congress to act, especially with 2018 seeing the highest numbers to date for hot car deaths, according to Kids and Care.

“I really want to stress that no matter how loving or caring or responsible a parent or a caregiver is, it’s very possible that they forget a child’s in the back seat,” said Pallone.

The Hot Cars Act was referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit in July.